Right now everyone is trying to shelter in place at home and make the most of what they have on hand. I have gathered up some creative ways to use leftovers to make sure that food isn’t going to waste during this time.
These recipes include ways to make the most of a roast chicken, my favorite way to eat leftover pizza, and the most fun way to repurpose leftover spaghetti.
Creative Ways to Use Leftovers
Have some leftover burgers? Chop them up and use them to make this incredible macaroni and cheese.
2. Pizza for Breakfast
Add a sunny side up egg to a slice of pizza and you have breakfast. The best way to reheat pizza is to put it in a covered skillet. You can cook the egg in the skillet right beside the pizza.
This glorious food mash-up is such a fun way to serve leftover spaghetti. It’s made with homemade garlic bread and held together with mozzarella.
I know, I won’t stop talking about risotto, but it is a great pantry meal that feels a little bit fancy. The basic ingredients for risotto are broth and rice, but you can add in some leftover chicken, any veggies you have on hand (I bet you can find some frozen peas or spinach in your freezer), and cheese. If you have a little bit of several ingredients – this is a fun way to use them up. And if you have any leftover risotto – turn it into arancini.
5. Make Soup
Soup is the ultimate leftovers meal; it’s a way to make sure that nothing goes to waste. First, I use chicken bones to make chicken stock. I also add any extra gravy to the broth – it adds an extra boost of flavor! My Italian Vegetable Soup with Dumplings is pictured above. Some of my other favorite soup recipes are ribollita, tortilla soup, Thai curry noodle soup, and turkey soup.
Another great soup recipe that uses up leftovers is my Dad’s Ham and Pea Soup. He always makes it after Easter with the ham bone and leftover ham.
Roasted vegetables and hummus are delicious additions to sandwiches.
If you have a bit of leftover meat, vegetables, cheese, rice, or quinoa – use it to make a salad! If you have chicken, rice, and a roasted vegetable for dinner you can easily repurpose leftovers to create lunches. Depending on the amount of leftovers you have you might want to go into meal prep mode and make lunches for the week. Some favorites are my crispy chicken and superfood salad (pictured above), chicken sweet potato, and kale bowls, southwest chicken salad, and spinach salad.
Cook eggs in leftover tomato sauce – it’s such a great breakfast! I like to add some mozzarella and to serve with garlic bread.
9. Make Buffalo Chicken
If you have leftover chicken, shred it up and make buffalo chicken. Or, you can easily make a big batch of buffalo chicken in a slow cooker. Once you have buffalo chicken you can make buffalo chicken dip, buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese, a buffalo chicken grits bowl, a buffalo chicken quinoa salad bowl, buffalo chicken enchiladas, buffalo chicken baked potatoes, and more.
You know that jar of salsa in your cupboard and that half bag of tortilla chips? It’s time to use them. Chilaquiles are a quick and easy breakfast that you can make with salsa, tortilla chips and any tomatoes, beans, corn, avocado, and cheese you have at home.
Have leftovers from taco night? You can use them to make Mexican Lasagna or Taco Pie! Just layer shredded chicken or ground beef with tortillas, beans, cheese, and salsa.
Have day old bread? Turn it into chocolate chip cookie bread pudding.
Perhaps you have some puff pastry dough in your freezer? Use it to make these super easy breakfast tarts. You can add any cheese and vegetables you have on hand.
If you know of any other creative ways to use leftovers please share them in the comments!